US Visual Arts
The visual arts are a strong part of the curriculum in the Upper School. The goals of the visual arts department are to provide experiences that ask the student to develop individual, creative solutions to visual problems. Students are also expected to strive to increase their technical skill in a variety of media. In each unit of study, art history is included so that students understand the cultural context of art. All assignments are critiqued in class and by having students do written evaluation of their work. The resources of Los Angeles are incorporated into the program by field trips to museums and galleries as well as on-campus classes with visiting artists. Each year the Visual Arts and the Performing Arts departments join together to put on a series of Culture Concerts for the school that examine the art, music, dance and drama from different cultures and times. Students may select electives from seven different areas in art and may take beginning as well as advanced level classes in these media. Students with a strong interest in the area of the visual arts may pursue their studies through to the level of Advanced Placement Studio Art. There are two art rooms available with professional quality equipment. The studios include a ten-station darkroom, ten Macintosh G4 computers, acetylene torches, stone carving tools, seven potter’s wheels and a print press. The art resource library in the studios has over 400 books, videos and DVDs. The department uses the software programs Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Final Cut for the photography, graphic design and video classes. Along with numerous art exhibits at the school, the art department annually shows the students’ artwork at several large exhibits and contests outside of school. At the Scholastic Art and Writing competition for Southern California, Buckley is among the top schools receiving awards.
Drawing and Painting
Students explore a wide variety of techniques, as they explore the elements of composition, color, and line. A number of drawing and painting media are used such as pencil, pen and ink, gouache, and acrylic. Projects including portraiture, perspective, color theory, drawing from the model.
Advanced Drawing and Painting
Metal I (9th-12th Grade)
Students design and construct jewelry pieces using the basic techniques of fabricating, soldering with the acetylene torch, polishing, lost wax casting using the centrifugal casting machine, and enameling.
Graphic Design I (9th-12th Grade)
This course involves the understanding and production of commercial art. Students produce several projects during the year including a personal logo, a compact disc cover, posters for the performing arts productions. The course covers drawing by hand, typography, page layout, color, visual perception, and computer graphics. Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are used by the students in designing their work on the MacPro computers.
This course explores making visual statements in three dimensions. Students explore ideas used by artists in the 20th an 21st centuries.A range of materials for the assignments includes plaster, stone, plastic, wood, and found objects. They are used in conjunction with the sculptural methods of additive, subtractive, assemblage, and environmental installation.
Photography I (9th-12th Grade)
This course covers the basics of using film and digital cameras, wet and digital darkroom techniques. There is a strong emphasis compositions and personal exploration of photographic concepts. Students are required to do shooting assignments outside of school. Students are responsible for supplying their own digital cameras and the art department has 35mm film cameras that students may check out.
Video I (9th-12th Grade)
This course covers the basics of using the video camera and editing video. Projects include documentary, stop action animation, a video art presentation, and a short film. Students are introduced to film history and cinematic style. Shooting outside of class is required, and owning a video camera is not necessary but highly recommended.
In the video program students use the following software on MacPro computers: Final Cut, FrameForge 3D StudioPro, Celtx, GarageBand, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, LiveType.
The following equipment is available for students to check out to use when shooting their films:
a crane and jib with a remote head, GlideCam., studio lights, Sony PD 170 and Canon VixiaHV 30 HD digital video cameras, and green screens,
Advanced Placement Studio Art
This course is open to tenth through twelfth grade students and is designed to fulfill the AP requirement in studio art. Students produce 20-30 finished pieces of college level artwork. The artwork can be in either two or three-dimensional art including drawing, design, photography, computer graphics, metal, painting, ceramics, and sculpture. This is a class for the experienced art student who is self-motivated and wishes to concentrate in a specific area. Considering the number of artworks required, it is recommended that students take this course over a two-year period. Over the summer, students are required to complete four quality pieces of artwork as part of the requirements of the course. Department permission for admittance is required.
This class studies the history of film from the silent era to Hollywood motion pictures and diverse national cinemas including films from every continent. It includes a historical overview of film as an art and cultural form, from classic to contemporary and from American to foreign perspectives. The class explores and analyses narrative, dialogue, cinematography, composition, technique, genre, editing and sound. In class students watch and analyze a minimum of three films per month collectively as well as two individually. Work will include research papers analyzing films within their historical, geopolitical, and societal context as well as monthly film journals and presentations. The class meets four times per week.
Ceramics I (9th-12th Grade)
This course explores a range of functional and sculptural forms in clay. Assignments include the techniques of hand building, work on the potter’s wheel, using molds, and glazing techniques.
Prerequisites: 10th – 12th grade status, department permission, and completion of Ceramics
This course covers advanced techniques in clay such as multiple-thrown forms, large-scale hand building assignments, and research projects. Along with the work in the studio, there is a research project on an aspect of ceramic history.
Prerequisites: 10th – 12th grade status, department permission, and completion of Metal I .
Students investigate advanced methods of fabricating, enameling, casting, and
silversmithing. Along with the studio work, there is research project on an aspect of history of metal design.
Prerequisites: 10th – 12th grade status, department permission, and completion of Beginning Photography.
This course has the students work in-depth to examine the photographic image, to practice wet and digital darkroom techniques, and to develop a personal approach to their art work. Assignments include documentary, special photographic techniques, computer imaging, and use of the medium and large format cameras. Students must provide their own digital cameras and the art department has 35mm and medium format film cameras that the students may check out. A short research paper on a topic in photography is required. (Prerequisites: Photography and permission of the department.)